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CVMBS Faculty Members Receive Honors
Dr. Stephen Withrow Named as University Distinguished Professor and Recipient of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Award
Colorado State University has named Dr. Stephen Withrow a University Distinguished Professor, the highest academic recognition awarded by the University. President Larry Edward Penley made the announcement in April during a special ceremony at the annual Celebrate Colorado State awards. Dr. Withrow also was named the recipient of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Award in May.
A maximum of 12 current faculty members at the University may hold the rank of University Distinguished Professor, which is a permanent designation. To obtain the rank, faculty members are nominated through an extensive review process and must be approved by the current University Distinguished Professors.
Dr. Withrow, Director of the Flint Animal Cancer Center at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, was named a University Distinguished Professor because of his impressive career in animal cancer research, including ground-breaking discoveries benefiting companion animals as well as humans. Among his many contributions to cancer research and treatment, Dr. Withrow developed a limb-sparing technique to treat osteosarcoma, a malignant bone tumor in dogs. The technique revolutionized treatment of the disease and has been widely adopted in human cancer centers.
The Bonfils-Stanton Awards, often described as the Colorado version of the Nobel Prize, are given annually to Colorado citizens for lifetime achievements in the arts and humanities, community service, and science and medicine. The award recognizes Dr. Withrow’s work in developing pioneering cancer treatments for animals.
Twenty-five years ago, Dr. Withrow and Dr. Ed Gillete established the Animal Cancer Center, now the largest animal cancer center in the world. The center has trained more veterinary surgical, medical, and radiation oncologists than any other veterinary institution and is the only veterinary cancer group to have more than 25 consecutive years of funding from the National Cancer Institute. The Animal Cancer Center has pioneered numerous surgical, radiation, and chemotherapy procedures for animals with cancer. The center treats up to 2,000 pets per year with cancer and handles a volume of 10,000 appointments. A 1998 campaign successfully raised $9.3 million to fund a new wing on the Veterinary Teaching Hospital, which became the new home of the Flint Animal Cancer Center.
In addition to directing the Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State, Dr. Withrow has maintained a commitment to work in the clinic, seeing patients as a surgical oncologist 50 percent of the time. This commitment provides a hands-on, personal involvement with the center. Dr. Withrow holds the Stuart Endowed Chair for Oncology and is the only veterinary fellow of the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society, a prestigious international society of elite orthopedic physician oncologists. He founded the Veterinary Cooperative Oncology Group, an association of 20 private practices and universities that cooperate in clinical trials. He is a charter member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Oncology board and is a board-certified member of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, one of only three people in the nation to be board certified in both disciplines.
During his tenure at Colorado State, Dr. Withrow has established two endowed chairs and raised more than $20 million in private funds. His career has been recognized with the Gains award, the highest honor a clinical veterinarian can receive, from the national veterinary associations of two countries, Canada in 1978 and the United States in 1990.
In addition to his many commitments at Colorado State, Dr. Withrow has volunteered for 23 years as a counselor and fund raiser for the Sky High Hope Camp for children with cancer, earning him the Ronald McDonald House Volunteer of the Year award in 2003.
Expert in TB Research Receives Scholarship Impact Award
Dr. Ian Orme, a Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology and a world-leading expert in tuberculosis research, has received the 2004 Scholarship Impact Award, one of the University’s highest awards and its honor for accomplishment in research. The award, given annually by Colorado State’s Office of the Vice President for Research and Information Technology, recognizes one top faculty member whose scholarship has had major national and international impact.
The award was presented in April at the all-University Celebrate Colorado State awards luncheon. The Scholarship Impact Award includes $10,000 to support Dr. Orme’s research.
“Dr. Orme’s vital research continues to have significant impacts at Colorado State and throughout the world. We are proud to present him with the 2004 Scholarship Impact Award,” said Dr. Anthony Frank, Vice President for Research and Information Technology. “To say that Ian is a key member of our University would be a great understatement. Colorado State is fortunate to have such an intelligent, dedicated individual on our faculty, and millions of people throughout the world are fortunate that Dr. Orme is directing his impressive talents toward controlling, delaying and even preventing the development of TB.”
Tuberculosis is the leading bacterial killer in the world, with 10 million new cases and three million deaths each year. It is resurgent in developing countries and, in America , in prison populations, among the homeless, and in HIV/AIDS-infected patients. A factor in its return, and one of particular concern to Dr. Orme, is that some strains are resistant to several anti-TB drugs. The Mycobacterium Research Laboratories, which are unique given the amount of expertise focusing on one problem, are part of the Infectious Diseases Program at Colorado State, a Program of Research and Scholarly Excellence.
Dr. Orme, previous director of the Infectious Diseases Program and the Mycobacterium Research Laboratories, is known internationally for his TB research and has made major contributions to understanding the mechanisms at work in immunity to tuberculosis. In recent years, Dr. Orme has developed various models for the study of TB that now are widely used in vaccine and drug screening, work for which he was appointed a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiologists in 2002. In addition to TB vaccine development, Dr. Orme also heads a research team working on a separate seven-year, $3.4 million National Institutes of Health contract to screen the most promising TB treatment drugs.
Dr. Orme’s TB-related work has generated more than $50 million in research support at Colorado State and led to several breakthroughs in the field. Additionally, he has published more than 200 papers in leading medical and science journals that have been cited more than 6,400 times. Last year, Dr. Orme and his colleagues were awarded a five-year, $3 million NIH grant to conduct a pioneering study to examine the long-term effectiveness and safety of tuberculosis vaccines. Dr. Orme and his team also have led groundbreaking studies examining broad-spectrum antibiotics to discover a drug that is effective in fighting latent tuberculosis without creating drug resistance.
Dr. Orme joined Colorado State University in 1986, after receiving his doctorate from the University of London and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Trudeau Institute.
Distinguished Professor Elected to American Academy of Microbiology
Dr. Patrick J. Brennan, a Colorado State University Distinguished Professor, has been elected as a Fellow of the prestigious American Academy of Microbiology. Dr. Brennan, a Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology, was honored for his important contributions to the fields of microbial physiology, infectious diseases, and molecular biology.
Dr. Brennan’s primary research involves two bacterial diseases, leprosy and tuberculosis; he is renowned as a world leader in research related to both diseases. Dr. Brennan founded the Mycobacterium Research Laboratories at Colorado State in 1980 as one of the few basic research programs on leprosy and tuberculosis worldwide. The laboratories focus on immunology, synthetic and analytical chemistry, molecular biology, and genetics to develop new vaccines, diagnostic reagents, and drug targets for the diseases.
Dr. Brennan’s research focuses on the biochemical characterization of cell wall constituents and their assembly in mycobacterium. Understanding the structure of the complex mycobacterial cell wall, including the genes governing its construction and the enzymes synthesizing the wall components, has key implications for developing improved means of diagnosing and treating diseases caused by mycobacterium. Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-reviewed process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. There are now more than 2,000 Fellows representing 37 countries and all subspecialties of microbiology, including basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry, and government service.
The mission of the American Academy of Microbiology is to recognize scientific excellence and foster knowledge and understanding in the microbiological sciences. The Academy is the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, the world’s oldest life science organization with more than 43,000 members.